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Survey reveals the graphic details of sexual harassment against flight attendants

Survey reveals the graphic details of sexual harassment against flight attendants
[Photo: Arthur Edelman/Unsplash]

The Association of Flight Attendants surveyed more than 3,500 of their ranks (from 29 airlines) and found that the age-old harassment of flight attendants is still alive and well today, even at the height of the #MeToo movement.

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Here are the top lines:

  • 68% of flight attendants experienced sexual harassment during their flying careers.
  • 7% of the flight attendants who experienced the abuse have reported sexual harassment to their employer.
  • 68% of flight attendants say they have not noticed any employer efforts over the past year to address sexual harassment at work. Alaska, United, and Spirit have led the industry in addressing this issue.
  • 18% experienced physical sexual harassment from passengers in the last year. More than 40% of those suffered physical abuse three or more times. Flight attendants said the physical sexual harassment included having their breasts, buttocks and crotch area “touched, felt, pulled, grabbed, groped, slapped, rubbed, and fondled” both on top of and under their uniforms. Other abuse included passengers cornering or lunging at them, followed by unwanted hugs, kisses, and humping.
  • 35% experienced verbal sexual harassment from passengers in the last year. Of those, 68% faced it three or more times, and one-third five or more times in the past year. Flight attendants describe “nasty, unwanted, lewd, crude, inappropriate, uncomfortable, sexual, suggestive, and dirty” comments from passengers. They also report being subjected to passengers’ explicit sexual fantasies, propositions, request for sexual “favors,” and pornographic videos and pictures.

Respondents were 80% women and 20% men, corresponding with the industry’s gender ratio. See the full results of the survey here.

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